It's been just over a week since I got here. I've had to adapt fast.
So far, it's going well. For example: where you might see a small razor designed for the lady-tash, I now see a cheap and simple way to de-bobble half my clothes.
To backtrack. A couple of days ago, I took the very big and important step of using the washing machine that's on my balcony. Yes, ma'am, I can adult very well. I deliberately picked somewhere that had its own machine, rather than waste half my days and spare change in coin laundries.
Obviously I've used a washing machine before. Obviously. But not a Japanese one. Never mind that the buttons are in another language, it fundamentally works differently.
There's no temperature setting - it's always a cold wash. Rarely will you find a little drawer for the detergent and conditioner. Just chuck it all in and hope for the best.
The centrifugal spin leaves your clothes plastered to the drum by the end. Or at least it would if, unlike me, you remember to activate the spin setting. I opened up the lid to find the clothes happily swimming around without a care in the world.
And then. Then, when the machine drained, I made a further important discovery. The drainage is such that a rapidly emptying washing machine can easily flood my balcony. (I totally thought I'd broken it. Five minutes of sheer panic I never want to repeat.)
It was time to re-open the lid to claim my now substantially drier clothes. I thought I was home and dry, like my clothes would be after a few hours on the washing line. How wrong I was...
I admit that I've never been one to do the dark wash separately. Peace and goodwill to all garments, right? Actually, something white and annoying in the wash has bobbled all my black clothes. That's problematic. Mainly because the colour scheme I went for when packing my capsule travel wardrobe was 'monochrome'. There's a lot of black in there.
And that's how I ended up queueing to pay for a pack of moustache razors. I'm pretty sure the cashier looked me over to check just how badly I needed them. Hopefully soon I'll adapt to that, too.